Information for Patients & Families

The Patient Care Quality Office

We are here to help you find answers, to ensure that your feedback reaches the most appropriate clinical leaders, and to facilitate resolution to your care concerns.

As the central point of contact for public feedback at Island Health, the Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) welcomes your comments, questions, compliments and concerns.

We are committed to working to resolve concerns with a patient and family-centered approach. This means listening to, informing and involving you in all aspects of the care review process. If you have a compliment, we want to hear from you too! This gives staff an opportunity to celebrate what’s going well.

To access a PDF version of this page, click here:

PCQO Information for Patients & Families

On this page, you can read about:

What you need to start

When you contact us, please be ready to provide:

  • Patient’s Care Card number
  • Patient’s full name and date of birth
  • Date and location the experience occurred
  • Consent from the patient for PCQO to access medical records
Your three resolution options
  1. We can share your experience so Island Health can improve (no follow-up).
  2. We can connect you with a leader from the care team to discuss your experience.
  3. We can facilitate a formal review of your care experience, and provide a letter, in person meeting, or phone call response.

Your liaison will work with you to identify the best option for resolution; you may change your review preference throughout our process, if desired.

Information about consent

We want to make sure your concerns are addressed thoroughly and efficiently by the right clinical leaders, and to do so we will seek your consent to access medical records associated with the visit of concern.

To protect your privacy, we will not share your medical information without your consent.

Consent for friends & family members 

If you are sharing a concern on behalf of a family member or loved one, please be ready to provide us with a copy of a formal health care representation agreement that identifies you as a person acting on the patient’s behalf. We may also ask to speak directly with the patient to establish consent. To download a representation agreement form, visit:

Consent for bereaved loved ones

If your concerns regard a loved one who is now deceased, please be prepared to share the first and last page of the patient’s will identifying you as an Executor of the estate.

Our commitment to cultural safety

With humility and gratitude, we acknowledge the Peoples of the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu- chah-Nulth and Coast Salish cultural families, urban Indigenous as well as Métis and Inuit Peoples.

Island Health is committed to providing a culturally safe and respectful environment at every point of service within the organization. To help us provide culturally respectful services for Indigenous clients, PCQO staff members are committed to ongoing Indigenous cultural safety training.

As part of a provincial strategy to improve our programs and services to Indigenous patients, families, and communities, and provide cultural supports through our process, PCQO staff may ask if you wish to self-identify as an Indigenous Person, that is, First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

Should you wish for us to include our partners in Indigenous Health in addressing your concerns, please let us know. 

How we work together

Our goal is for you to feel valued, respected and validated by sharing your needs with our office.

When you come to us with concerns, a PCQO Liaison will ask you about the details of your experience so we have a thorough understanding of your perspectives and needs before helping to identify an agreed upon outcome to your concern.

Please be assured your current or future care will not be impacted when you voice a concern; we work with clinical programs to ensure their response is respectful, thoughtful, and focused on improving your health experience.

We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach to resolving care concerns, and we will do our best to have our process meet your needs and expectations. We can arrange for the right person to call, email, or meet with you to discuss your experience and offer methods for resolution.

For complex issues that require a thorough review of your medical records, you may request that the PCQO conduct a comprehensive facilitated care review.

The care review process

The PCQO sends the information you provide, along with your health records, to the directors, medical leads, managers, and other leaders responsible for the care you received.

Leaders conduct an in-depth review of your experience by examining your health records, discussing your experience with the involved staff and physicians, and whenever possible, bringing forward related issues to staff meetings and quality councils.

In some cases, more than one department may be involved in a care review. For example, if an individual first accesses the Emergency Department, and then undergoes surgery, we would involve leadership from both the Emergency Department and Surgical Services units.

Once the review is complete, the findings are provided to the PCQO. We analyze the findings to ensure that your questions have been addressed according to your wishes, and ask the reviewers for further information when required for clarity.

Our role in the care review process

When you initiate a formal care review with the PCQO, we will:

  • Confirm all necessary details of your health care visit
  • Establish consent.
  • Request your medical records.
  • With your guidance, put together a series of questions for the care departments involved to answer that fully address your experience.
  • Identify and involve the responsible clinical and physician leaders to conduct the review.
  • Collaboratively explore areas for the improvement of care quality and delivery with reviewers.
  • Ensure your experience is considered from a quality improvement perspective to support safe and positive future access to care.
Care review timelines and response

You should receive a response within 40 business days of the date you contacted our office. At times we may need to ask for an extension of 20 business days.

Please note that our timelines are legislated by the Government of British Columbia through the Patient Care Quality Review Board Act.

Receiving a response

Once all questions and concerns have been reviewed, investigated and addressed, you will have the option to receive the findings in the way you prefer, which may be:

Phone call

We can arrange for a clinical leader to call you at a time convenient for you to discuss your experience and share the results of their investigation.

Written responses

Working with medical leadership, executive management and clinical partners, you are provided with a comprehensive written response to your concerns that is mailed to your home, or securely emailed.


We can organize and facilitate an in-person meeting for you to discuss your experience, the findings of the care review, and any resulting questions directly with reviewers.

Contributing to care quality improvements

When we talk about quality improvements, we mean specific, measurable changes in the way things are done with a mind toward striving for excellence in the care provided by Island Health.

For example, if a concern comes in about communication between care teams, we may ask reviewers to identify and commit to opportunities for staff education, review best practices (guidelines representing the most efficient course of action), and accreditation standards (the desired and achievable level of performance against which actual performance is measured) to ensure alignment, and examine potential policy and procedural changes. Any changes that are planned as a result of your review will be shared with you.

The focus of PCQO is targeted towards organizational learning and quality improvements. We encourage meaningful dialogue and participation with our patient partners to help drive improvements in patient and family centered care; As such punitive action or retribution is not part of the PCQO process.

Asking Additional Questions

If you have unanswered or additional questions after receiving the response to your review, please contact the Manager identified in your response, or forward further questions to the PCQO Liaison you have been working with.

Concerns about clinical practice

Questioning clinical practice and/or decision making is not within the jurisdiction of the Patient Care Quality Office under the Patient Care Quality Review Board Act.

Should you have concerns regarding the practice or decision making of a clinician involved in your care, you have the option to contact their regulatory college.

For physician concerns contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons for British Columbia at

For Nursing concerns contact British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives at

If you are not satisfied with the outcome

Contact the Patient Care Quality Review Board (PCQRB).

The PCQRB includes people who live in your region and who are independent from Island Health. They can review your complaint and our response, and recommend ways to improve health care across the Health Authority

Patient Care Quality Review Board

Toll Free: 1-866-952-2448
Fax: 1-250-952-2428
Mail: PO Box 9643, Victoria, BC V8W 9P1